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1950s kids "the red generation"

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16:25 CET+01:00
Swedes born in the fifties are often seen as a forgotten generation, crammed between the babyboomers of the forties and the cool sixties kids. But at last they have a defining feature: they are officially the socialist generation.

The label comes from research carried out by Statistics Sweden, which shows that not once in the last 30 years has a majority of Swedes born in the fifties supported the country's conservative parties.

This is the first time that voting choices have been analysed by generation instead of age groups.

Since 1972, with only a few exceptions, all generations of Swedes have tended to support the socialist parties. Those born in the 1930s and 1960s drifted to the right on a couple of occasions, but primarily around 1990 when increased support from these generations saw the conservative parties take power.

But there has never been a conservative majority among those born in the fifties. Their voting patterns have always been much further to the left than other generations and on several occasions - 1981, 1994 and 2002 - the left parties enjoyed over 30% more support than the right.

"Those born in the fifties became politically conscious in the late sixties and early seventies. That was when they were at the impressionable age, between 15 and 25, when it comes to politics, religion, taste in music or favourite football team," said researcher Sören Holmberg.

Among people born in the thirties and forties, no significant difference between male and female political sympathies has been found. That is not so for those born in the following two decades.

Women born in the fifties were further to the left in their voting patterns than men up until the end of the 1990s, but now that gap has closed. Women born a decade later are still clearly more in favour of Sweden's socialist parties than their male counterparts, according to Statistics Sweden.

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